VIETNAMESE MASTER SCULPTOR
“Once we embrace the true meaning of balance, we can come to terms with our own existence”
Born in Vietnam in 1963 to a family of wealth and privilege, Tuan learned volumes about balance after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Wealth had turned to poverty, privilege to oppression, and happiness to sadness. Tuan began to realize that one couldn’t exist without the other. Thirsting for freedom, Tuan’s first attempt to escape the Communist regime failed. Tuan, however, never gave up, and his will was not broken. With his second attempt, he utilized his skills as a sculptor and the clay from his cell floor to sculpt figures resembling his captors, which prompted his release. Tuan succeeded in fleeing Vietnam and made it to the United States safely in 1989. He settled in California and received his degree of Fine Arts from Laguna College of Art and Design in southern California.
“Existential Balance” is the term coined by Tuan that brings emphasis to the importance of balance to the human existence. Each of Tuan’s sculptures is, therefore, a visual and tactile essay on “Existential Balance” that features the balance between darkness and light, masculine and feminine, rough and smooth, and often, heaven and earth. Another unique feature of Tuan’s work is the way that he has masterfully engineered the sculptures to seem almost weightless, belying the fact that they are cast in bronze. The perceived weightlessness of the dense bronze is mediated by Tuan’s architectural, mathematical, and engineering skills, creating a conversation around the relativity of density.
Among the distinguished collections in which the works of Tuan can be found:
• Art Museum of the Americas in Washington DC, U.S.
• Pasadena Museum of California Art in Pasadena, U.S.
• Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, U.S.
• MOCA in Paragould, U.S.
• Grand Prize Artist Award California 2002 U.S.
• Gloria Medal National Sculpture Society 1994 U.S.
• Public sculpture “Vietnam War Memorial” placement in Westminster, U.S.
• Public sculpture “Rendez-Vous” placement in Laguna Beach, U.S.